I thought I was straight my whole life, but for the last 2 years (I am currently in my last year of high school) I have found myself increasingly attracted to women. I just am so disinterested in dating men, even though I am sexually attracted to them as well as women. I have had a few crushes on women, but I'm also torn because I've always grown up believing in the Prince Charming married with kids life, despite what an activist I am.
I am just so conflicted with how I feel that I can't tell what my orientation is. I don't know if part of me is just trying to suppress the part of me that is attracted to women because I still want that fairy tale which society has created or what.
At the moment I feel like labeling myself as bisexual, but many people don't believe that a person can be bisexual- only gay or straight. Because of this I don't know if I should bother coming out to my friends and family until I am certain of what my sexual orientation is. I don't want to be that girl who is "just bisexual for the attention" as horrible as that is.
I guess my question(s) is: Is it normal for people who aren't straight to feel this kind of confusion, or does this just mean that I am questioning? How can I come out as bisexual, for the moment, without creating that label for me for life? And, is it even worth it for me to come out, or just see where life takes me and who I meet and fall in love with, man or women?
Thank you so much!
Posts: 1 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2013
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I do want to point out that you can be with a woman and still have a marriage/long-term domestic partnership and kids, if that continues to be the life you want. It may help if you untether your specific idea of future happiness from the thought that you can only achieve that with a heterosexual relationship.
I think that ultimately, it's up to you to figure out what labels you want to use for yourself. It is true that some people do have some untrue and offensive views of what bisexuality means, and if you do come out as bisexual to some people you might run into some of those views. If it feels safer or easier for you to just sit with your own thoughts about your sexuality for a while, until you feel a little more certain, that's definitely ok. I think that while labels can be comforting, there's no reason you have to be in a rush to figure one out for yourself, you know? It's all right to be uncertain for a while, or to say "I'm still figuring things out" if it ever comes up.
In thinking about whether or not you want to come out, maybe think about how that could help you? Maybe if you were out in your peer group it might be easier to approach potential dating partners. If you have a supportive friend or family member, coming out to them could mean you have a good source of support or someone to talk with about what you're feeling. Coming out to one person doesn't necessarily mean you have to be out in every area of your life (taking into account that some people may out you, either on purpose or accidentally, in ways that are outside of your control).
Sexuality and sexual attraction are fluid for many people. If you feel strongly, at some point, that you are bisexual and tell people that, and in ten years find your attraction to women decreasing and feel like it's more accurate at that point to call yourself straight, that doesn't mean you were lying or being "fake" before. It just means that things changed. If other people around you have an issue with that, I really think that's on them and not on you (and I'd say that for any other negative ideas people have about bisexuality in general). So, I think the way to avoid making this your label for life is just to live your life and, if things change, talk about that with the people who are important to you. =)
Posts: 1316 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013
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I second all of Molias' points, and I'd especially like to emphasize that you don't owe anyone information about your sexuality. Being unsure of your orientation can be a scary and stressful process, and you aren't required to involve other people in it unless you'd really like to. If you know folks who you think might be helpful to you right now, it could be good to talk to them and get some reassurance that what you're feeling is okay. However, what I'm mainly seeing in your post is a sense that talking about your orientation isn't worth it because people won't believe you, or may even claim that you just want attention.
A little personal info: I have been where you are. I came out as bisexual at 13. If you're 13 years old, get read/identified as a girl, and tell people you're bisexual in my community, you know what happens? The three general responses were a) you're a closeted lesbian who's scared to come out all the way, b) you're straight but want to get attention from boys by making out with other girls, or c) you're a slut who just wants to get with everyone. Most people I knew from school were jerks about it and didn't really believe me, which was hugely frustrating.
However, my parents' response was "Okay, thanks for telling us," and my best friend's response was "Yeah, I think I am, too. Want to talk about girl crushes with each other?" The people I trusted most responded really well and didn't make it a big deal. Trust your judgment on who you'd like to come out to, and don't worry about the rest of the people around you. Your sexual interests aren't their business unless you make a personal choice to share them. You are the only person who can ultimately decide if it's worth it to come out, when to do it, and who to tell.
I'm going to leave you with a couple of thoughts about relationships, since you've said you feel an attachment to narratives of straight marriage and feel torn about that attachment. For starters, there's a great article about relationship models right here at Scarleteen that might help you think more about what you want: Supermodel: Creating & Nurturing Your Own Best Relationship Models
When I was little, I was certain I'd grow up and have a big wedding with a gorgeous dress and a husband and kids and be together forever. In high school, I had pretty much that same image except I decided I'd actually like to wear a dapper suit. Now I think about my future and think I'd really love to live in some kind of commune or group space with one or more long-term partners and one or more adopted or fostered kids, with no wedding but maybe a big anniversary party in someone's garden with lots of music and big jugs of lavender lemonade. What will I want in a year? Five years? Ten? I have no idea, and I'm learning to embrace that.
I'd like to propose a little activity for you to try, if it sounds fun or useful at all. Feel free to adapt it as you see fit. Try drawing yourself - with a crush if you like, a fantasy person, or on your own - along with some of the objects and life elements you'd like to have in your future. What sort of wedding ceremony? What sort of house? What sort of family? If you don't enjoy drawing, try making a collage, or writing about it in a journal. Once you've put some of your ideas down on paper, think about where those ideas and interests came from. Have you seen relationships other people in your life have and admired things about them? Have you heard/seen stories and images about ideal relationships in the media? Are these the only media in existence, the only relationships you have seen? What do you think are some other relationship scenarios that could make people happy? Can you imagine yourself in any of those scenarios? Play around, make multiple drawing or collages or written narratives about the potential routes of your life if you find others that seem interesting to think about, or even ones that feel sort of silly or ridiculous.
You don't have to give up dreams of a partner and family just because of your orientation - you are the ultimate decider of how you run your romantic and intimate life - but I want you to also remember that this personal power means you can expand your ideas about relationships and create new dreams about marriage and partnership. You don't sound like you're planning on getting married this minute, so give yourself time to explore your thoughts on relationships. I think that if you look inside yourself, with time you'll be able to find a romantic narrative that feels comfortable and happy for you. And if it changes with time? That's okay! You are allowed to change and develop as a person and establish new goals in life. Best wishes to you. =)
Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012
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